Sunday, January 24, 2010

Dining Room Weekend

My husband and I are working on the dining room this whole weekend. I couldn't stand that room to be blank and empty for another day, so we are devoting some time to it (finally!). Yesterday, we painted and installed the chair rail. Today, we are going to try to do the rest, which is a LOT so we'll see how much we end up getting done. This might have to extend into a two weekend project.

In about an hour, my brother is going to come over to help us. A good chunk of today will be spent actually buying our dining room furniture! Exciting! Then when we get home, we're going to try to get as much of the crown molding and other stuff done as possible. Not sure how realistic that is, since I know shopping is going to take some time due to several factors, and we also have to grocery shop and prepare the house for a long-term guest arriving this week (a friend of ours is coming home from an honorable discharge from the Navy and needs a place to stay until he gets back on his feet). Either way, I REALLY want it to be completely done by the end of next week, because I am hosting a ladies swap meet on February 6th and would LOVE to have a beautiful new dining room to show off!

Before, during, and (hopefully!) after pictures to come shortly.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Some more accessory finds!

The last couple of weeks, I have found some GREAT deals on accessories. Just wanted to share a few:

This is the little $60 Ikea shelf/console in our foyer. We just bought the kitty sculptures today. I think both of them together were $10 at TJ Maxx. We also found the cube basket today for $7 on clearance. I only wish they had 2 so that we had one for the bottom righthand cube as well. I would like to eventually find a spot for the kitties in our as-yet extremely sparse loft, but for now this is a good spot for them.

I'm still struggling with this little corner shelf unit. We picked it up for $10 at a flea market before we moved into the house. The shelves are really small and don't hold much. I seemed to have started to collect bird figurines, so for now they have a home on the awkward little corner shelf here in the loft. This is DEFINITELY a work in progress. I'd like to add some small picture frames, candle holders, and maybe some kind of miniature houseplant. I don't know, I'm still looking for inspirations on what to do here. The three birds on the second and fourth shelves were a set purchased at Kirklands for $8. The little vases were $1 each at the Salvation Army, and the bird at the top was $2 in the clearance section of TJ Maxx.

I was looking for some black & white floral art for the loft and came across these at Kohls. They were $30 each and I had a $50 giftcard, so only $10 out of pocket! Now I just need to decide where to hang them...

Time for a kitty break...

Ok, kitty break over...

Now onto the guestroom (or as my husband's best friend likes to call it, the "toothpaste room" due to the wall color).

Got this really pretty starfish box at TJ Maxx for about $5. It's hard to tell from the pic, but the edges are distressed. It's so cute!

Still shopping around for the perfect big oval mirror for above this short dresser, but for now I have this little one propped up as a temporary solution. Got the little basket at Goodwill for $1, the seashell spheres were clearanced Christmas ornaments at Kohls, I think they were a couple bucks each. The little seagrass pot was $10 at Kohls. The lantern is an Ikea find. I really wanted a bigger one, but couldn't find just the right one, so this one will do for now.

That's all for now! Still haven't gotten our dining set. Hopefully next weekend. Fingers are crossed!

Thursday, January 7, 2010


According to the news last night, we may be in for some snow flurries in the next few days!

Why is this a weird thing??? Because I live in Orlando, Florida!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Goodbye, ugly brass grappling hook!

I still need to show you some of the fun finds from last weekend's shopping spree, but I thought I would start with one of the larger items we purchased.

As I have mentioned previously, I hate, hate, HATE the builder brass fixtures around our house. We are slowly but surely swapping them all out for oil rubbed bronze and frosted glass fixtures. Well, one of the worst was the ugly brass candelabra-style fixture in the dining room. It was one of the first things you see when you walk through the front door, so it HAD to go fast! My husband just swapped it out this afternoon for one of our shopping spree finds.

Here is the ugly grappling hook already removed from the ceiling:

And here is the new fixture!:

Soooooo much better!

We took down all the Christmas stuff yesterday, so the house feels a bit refreshed, but more empty. Just means I need to do more decorating!

Oooh! And I'm so excited...I am holding a swap meet for my girlfriends in early February. Everyone is going to bring 5-10 new or gently used items they don't want, and we'll take turns swapping them for each other's stuff. I suggested stuff like decor items, small appliances, books, DVDs, jewelry, handbags, etc. Really anything. Can't wait! Maybe I can get some more stuff for the house!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Shopping Spree!

Don't you just love giftcards? I do! Especially with the new house. There are so many things we need/want, and so many things we just can't afford right now. We got a ton of giftcards over the holidays and decided to go out on a shopping spree to spend them yesterday.

At Lowe's, we got a ceiling fan for the master bedroom, and a chandelier for the dining room. At Kohls, we got some really pretty B&W floral photography prints for the loft, and some accessories for the guestroom, and FINALLY a welcome mat! At Sears, I let my husband have at it, and he decided to go with one of those huge Craftsman metal standing tool chests, and an under-car "creeper" (which I like to call the padded for when he's working on our cars. We also made a stop at the local Goodwill and spent $10 on two adorable white ceramic canisters, a small wire shelf tower that I want to spraypaint oil rubbed bronze and fill with bath products for our guest bath, and a seagrass basket for the guestroom. Woot! Thanks to giftcards, we only spent about $50 out of pocket for all of that!

Next weekend will be the BIG giftcard purchase! I got a VERY GENEROUS giftcard from the client I deal with at work as a Christmas bonus, so we will be finally getting ourselves a dining room set! I'm so excited. I have one in mind, but we want to do a little shopping around next Saturday just to make sure. I'm so psyched though. The dining room is the first thing you see when you walk through our front door, and right now it's totally empty, aside from my cat who has seemed to claim the room as his own. I'm so excited to start decorating another room. Maybe we could even get some painting done. MAYBE. I already know I want to paint it a deep grass green. Yay!

I plan to take some pics of our new purchases and share them with you very soon.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas to all!

I am excited to have the next four days off of work, followed by another four-day weekend next weekend. Yay! It's nice because I really need a break. Work has been INSANE lately (I work in benefits administration, and December and January are two of the most popular months for companies to have open enrollment).

But on the bright side, we were surprised (SHOCKED!) by a very generous Christmas bonus at work this year. I think we have decided to spend it either on a dining room set or finish buying replacement light fixtures for the rest of the house. We shall see!

After hosting a small five-person family Thanksgiving dinner 1 week after moving in, and hosting a 25-guest housewarming/Christmas party a couple weeks later, I am once again preparing to entertain. We have the whole family coming over tonight for a Christmas Eve baked ziti dinner. Luckily my mom is bringing bread & some of the dessert, grandparents are bringing salad, and my aunt & uncle are bringing some wine & beer, so I am not alone in this! Still, it means my Christmas Eve off from work will be spent cleaning & cooking like a mad woman! Speaking of which, I'd better get cracking!

Oh, and can you believe that we will be hosting ANOTHER big party for my husband's birthday the 2nd week in January??? It just doesn't stop! I promised myself that after that, we are DONE for awhile.

Anyways, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! :)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A little exterior sparkle...

Sorry it took me so long to post this next entry. We had our housewarming party last Saturday night and it was a hit! All of our friends seem to love our new house. We got so many compliments! And it was lovely to see everyone after spending so many weeks working hard on getting it ready. I felt like I hadn't seen any of our friends in AGES!

Anyways, we had to go smaller scale than I would have liked on the outside of our house. First, because we don't have a tall ladder yet to get to the roofline on the top story. Second, because we don't have $30194873108461438701 to buy all new lights & decorations! Hopefully we can pick up some good stuff for next year in the after-Christmas sales. We bought 2 strands of lights BOGO at CVS, bought some cheap greenery garland, used a wreath I had made three years ago for the door, PVC yard candy canes from the dollar store, and for the rest we worked with what we already had.

In-progress pic:

Door & walkway. Excuse our horrid lawn...again, the house was vacant for 6 months before we bought it (over the Florida summer too) and the lawn was grossly neglected. It's one of our priorities for after the holidays:

Close-up of door...We hope to get nicer & bigger porch trees in the future. These little ones were cheap finds 50% off at JoAnn's, embellished with berry/bead things (also 50% off).

And last but not least, the broader view of the whole house: